Negligent Security | Bars & Nightclubs | Bar Fights
Bar Fights Lawyers Serving Georgia Clients
On nearly any given weekend, you can read about a bar fight at an Atlanta bar. Customers and patrons often get drunk and make poor decisions. When people have been drinking alcohol, bar fights are more likely. People may do things they usually would not do, including injuring another person. Being injured in a bar fight can be a devastating experience. Victims injured in Atlanta bar fights may have a right to compensation by pursuing a negligent security lawsuit against the owner of the bar, restaurant, or nightclub at which the fight occurred.
What to Do if You Were Injured in a Bar Fight
Generally, bar fights happen between people who do not know each other. For example, one customer might think another customer is trying to hit on their partner. Or, perhaps someone who has been drinking alcohol stumbles into another person who thinks they are trying to fight them.
A person may misidentify another customer, thinking they have a bone to pick with them. The problem with bar fights is that the person who started the fight will often deny that they started it or simply run off after the fight. For this reason, it is important that you discuss your case with an attorney as soon as you have had time to receive medical care. An attorney can help determine who caused your injuries and track them down if they fled the crime scene.
There are two different processes for obtaining justice against the person who caused your injuries. Local prosecutors can bring criminal charges against the person who injured you for assault and battery. Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit is a separate process in civil courts. Whether or not the person who caused your injuries is charged and convicted, you can still pursue compensation for your medical expenses, time off of work, pain, suffering, and more. Proving liability in a civil lawsuit can be complex in bar fight cases, so the sooner you speak to an attorney, the better.
When is the Bar or Nightclub Owner Responsible for Assault Injuries?
Business owners cannot guarantee the safety of every customer all the time. However, the owners of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants have a legal obligation to keep their premises reasonably safe for customers. Owners must take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their guests and customers, including preventing customers from becoming injured in bar fights that could have been prevented.
When restaurant, bar, and nightclub owners fail in this legal duty, victims of bar fights can be entitled to compensation from them. Under Georgia law, you will not be able to recover compensation for being injured in a bar fight if you engaged in mutual combat with the person who caused your injuries. This is true even if you were defending yourself or someone else. You are only allowed to defend yourself and another person.
The owners of bars and restaurants could be held liable for injuries suffered in bar fights if they were negligent in assuring the safety of you and other guests. This area of the law is called premises liability law. Common examples of bar owners who can be held liable after someone gets injured in a bar fight include these acts of negligence:
- Serving a patrol who is obviously intoxicated or a minor
- Failure to hire security staff or bounces despite a history of bar fights
- Failure to adequately screen and train bouncers to prevent bar fights
- Failure to install lighting, video cameras, or other security measures to deter bar fights
Proving Negligence in a Bar Fight Lawsuit
To recover compensation, the victim of a bar fight will need to prove that the owner of the restaurant or bar engaged and negligent security. In other words, you will have to prove the owner did not provide you and other customers with a safe environment. Negligent security cases typically rely on the legal doctrine of negligence. Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care under the circumstances. If you can prove that it was foreseeable that someone would attack you in a bar fight, you can hold the business owner liable.
All businesses in Georgia must maintain reasonably safe premises for their guests, including providing adequate security, especially in a business where people can easily be injured in bar fights. Bar owners should have enough security personnel at the bar in case a fight breaks out so they can swiftly break up the fight and prevent serious injury. However, bar owners are not strictly liable in Georgia. Proving that you were attacked in a bar does not automatically mean you are entitled to damages from the bar owner. Instead, you will have to prove that the bar owner failed to take action that a reasonable bar owner would have done in the circumstances to prevent an injury.
Alcohol and Dram Shop Laws
Nightclubs and bars are obligated to monitor customers and ensure they are not over-served alcohol. If someone was over-served alcohol at a bar, walks out of the bar, and starts assaulting an innocent person, the innocent person may have a legal claim under Georgia’s dram shop laws. When the victim can prove that the establishment served a person who was visibly intoxicated and that person turned around and entered them in a fight, the victim can pursue compensation.
Learn More About Your Rights About Being Injured in a Bar Fight
There are several things victims of bar fights need to prove to make a legal compensation claim successfully. You should report the altercation to the management, obtain medical care, keep all your medical records, and discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible. Atlanta attorney James Rice will help you preserve evidence, negotiate with the insurance company and fight to obtain the most compensation possible. If you or your loved one have been seriously injured in a bar fight, contact attorney James Rice today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Mr. Rice, treated me and my case as if he was dealing with a “colleague” from the moment we met until the end of my case. I’m not a lawyer, nor in anyway, connected professionally to the law field. By “Colleague” I mean “Man, Husband, and Father” with all the responsibilities which correspond to the profession. He told me exactly what to expect with my case. His strategy and timeline to meet those expectations and what he would require of me to bring it all together in my best interest. Straight shooter, who got me back to the profession I love most in this world! Great lawyer who I’m proud to recommend to anyone needing his services.
R. C., Naval Submarine Veteran